Total Folklore is the aural equivalent of licking wasp flavoured candyfloss and swigging it back with a broken glass blueberry slushy. Dan's basically playing it cutesy whilst also sticking a pen knife in your ear.
I summarised the way Friel's music made me feel back when he first put 'Valedictorian' out for your streaming pleasure last year. None of the intensity has dulled on this long-player. The resulting chaos is a cacophonous musical George's Marvellous Medicine of sounds pulled together to send you doolally.
Friel's vision is an album inspired by urban life, triggered by long walks through the Brooklyn and the world of the commute. Tracks are punctuated with sounds Friel recorded on walks through the city, brief moments representing the pauses in city journeys - moments inside a pachinko parlor or watching kids play basketball.
Friel clearly associates the city with chaos and noise - his effects pedals and noisemakers make that clear. Total Folklore is like a psychedelic-love-letter to a city, and it's shaped by abrasive punk and written like saccharin chip tune. Starting with 'Ulysses' Total Folklore slowly grinds it's gears and rises up, constantly unfurling additional scale when you always think it can't go on. At almost 13-minutes long, scale is one thing 'Ulysses' can't be accused of lacking.
That opening track makes up almost a third of the album's length, so the album's structure itself feels like an additional attempt at confrontation. Dan Friel rushes to get through the rest of the material - only two of the remaining 11 tracks extend beyond three-minutes. It feels a little bit like the boy who has unwrapped one Christmas present and just can't wait to tear them all open, too excited to slow down.
The ideas also loop back on themselves. 'Scavengers' is another take at the core melody of 'Valedictorian' but with more bass, for example. There are a series of rapid moments on this album - the grit and bubblegum of 'Thumper' and rising crescendo of 'Badlands' - but each feels like a the result of some heavily distorted Chinese-whisper of the last.
If there is one thing besides noise that Total Folklore communicates it is rapid and uncontrollable excitement, overstimulated and over-amplified. In today's world of cynicism and reservation that's a little bit refreshing. It might give you a nosebleed but one thing Total Folklore doesn't do is leave you without an impression.